JUMP START STUDENTS PURSUE WORKKEYS TEST, TOPS TECH AWARDS

Dec 09, 2014

Schools Receive Credit When Students Achieve “Silver” Level or Higher on Career Readiness Assessment

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today announced students pursuing
Jump Start credentials are seeking eligibility for community and technical college scholarships through the state-funded WorkKeys assessments. Students earning a score of “silver” or higher, along with related course and grade requirements, will be eligible for TOPS Tech college scholarships upon graduating, critical for Jump Start students pursuing career and technical credentials. Scores of “silver” and higher will also generate school performance score points for Louisiana high schools.

Jump Start is the state’s new initiative to provide students with basic and advanced career credentials that allow students to continue their education after high school. To achieve the Jump Start credential, students complete
graduation pathways of courses and workplace-based experiences developed by Jump Start regional teams made up of industry, colleges, and school districts.

“Jump Start engages students and helps them make informed decisions on their career paths. WorkKeys will help them get a clearer picture of their future success in the workforce by providing another indicator of career readiness for students pursuing Jump Start credentials, gauging their knowledge through the 11th grade,” said State Superintendent John White.

For the past two school years, Louisiana has funded the ACT assessment for all juniors, resulting in 6,339 more students earning TOPS-qualifying scores of 17+ since 2012. WorkKeys is a career-readiness assessment measuring similar content to the ACT, but through career-focused methods. Starting in spring 2015, the state will fund the WorkKeys exam for all students on a Jump Start pathway pursuing a Career Diploma.

TOPS Tech can be earned in part through a qualifying score on either the ACT or WorkKeys. Students attaining the scholarship may continue their training after graduation in a technical program at a vocational, technical, or other postsecondary institution, including Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) campuses, some public colleges and universities, and some colleges and universities that are members of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

“The WorkKeys assessments provide the opportunity for students to exhibit skills valued by employers. In addition to showing that a student has the skills necessary for employment, it also provides additional opportunities for them to continue their education after high school,” said Dr. Marjorie Taylor, Executive Director for The Orchard Foundation.

All juniors will continue to take the ACT. After establishing “baseline” WorkKeys results in 2015, the Department of Education will determine the school performance score points to be appropriately awarded for silver, gold, and platinum scores on the WorkKeys assessment. The state will award the schools for students’ best scores across the ACT or WorkKeys scores.
 

Timeline

Spring 2015

Students in grade 11, particularly those on a Jump Start pathway, will have the option to take the WorkKeys, in addition to the ACT.

July 2015

The Department analyzes the “baseline” to determine appropriate points for silver, gold, and platinum results.

August 2015

The results of the above analysis will be publicly reviewed.

October 2015

BESE establishes school performance score points to be awarded.

October 2016

WorkKeys results count in school performance scores after 2015 test takers graduate.

 

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